I stayed at 'Haefliger's Cottage' which was equipped with a separate studio and a rustic outdoor 'dunny'.
The landscape and people of Hill End provided me with much inspiration. It was difficult saying goodbye to such a richly historic and alluring place.
There were visits from friends whilst I stayed in the cottage; thanks to artist David Wallace, photographer Felicity Jenkins, artist Craig Loxley, artist Sandra Winkworth and artist Tom Doherty for their company during my stay.
There are numerous artists who reside and practice their craft in Hill End. I was fortunate to meet Bill and Genevieve Moseley who run 'Hill End Press' and Lino Alvarez and Kim Deacon who run the pottery studio. I also met artist Juz Kitson was also on a residency administered by the National Art School.
I set myself a goal of completing 8 artworks while staying in Hill End. I came away with 7 and a collection of coloured soils and other plant material for future artworks.
Most evenings I would sit by the fire reading and thinking about the history of the town. Dotted around the streets of Hill End are plaques and photographs of cottages and businesses which have since been destroyed. Once a thriving hub of gold seekers, the town is now host to a variety of animals who seem at home in the frosty landscape. The stillness and darkness of the evenings provided a magical glimpse into the night sky which I have not seen quite so clearly since my days in Jindabyne.
Exploring the surrounding areas became an opportunity to relive rich historical associations. I took a drive down the 'Bridle track' to the Turon river and happened upon an old mine shaft which led deep into the mountainside. Using the flash of my camera, I was able to see ahead into the claustrophobic space where miners chiseled away at the walls of the tunnel in the hope of finding gold.
I am greatly appreciative of the opportunity to stay in Hill End and vowed to return to continue the love affair with the town.